While I very much enjoy well-crafted creepy doll horror movies (and I’m in the midst of writing a full review of the well-done movie M3GAN), I do not care for Chucky of the CHILD’S PLAY franchise. I watched an early film in that series (probably the first one, from 1988) and found Chucky to be crass and obnoxious. From what I’ve heard and read, that character becomes quite disgusting in subsequent films. I watch this horror sub-genre for the psychological suspense, intrigue, eeriness, camp, and even the strange beauty that some dolls possess. I do not see such movies to be grossed out by crude and disgusting demeanor and behavior, such as what’s displayed by the main villain throughout the CHILD’S PLAY productions. (And now I see there’s a TV/streaming series called CHUCKY. Ugh.) No thank you, Chucky; you’re not for me.
My Pet Peeve About Many Post Coital Scenes in Movies
A pet peeve of mine: Post coital scenes in movies where both lovers are wearing underwear. Now, I’m not gratuitously lascivious, just a viewer who appreciates realism where indicated, in this case complete nudity immediately after sex in a bed. Otherwise, dear film directors, please simply angle the camera more discreetly or drape a sheet or bedclothes over the actors if on-camera exposure of genitalia is a concern.
A Training I Attended Where Time Management Was Neglected
I generally enjoyed the Phase 3 (i.e., advanced level) Brainspotting training with David Grand, PhD that finished just hours ago. Three days of intensive online learning have left me feeling pretty tired. However, I was displeased with the poor time management of the whole thing. Dr. Grand spent too much time answering participants’ questions, at the expense of shortening breaks, including our lunch time (on two out of three days), and having to trim back one, if not two, break-out practice sessions. I so value practicing treatment methods in order to truly learn and then apply them with clients. I felt a bit shorted by this missing out on some scheduled one-on-one practice time with other attendees.
I left the end of the training seventeen minutes past the time it was supposed to end, whilst Dr. Grand was beginning to answer “just” two more people’s questions. I privately informed the main training assistant that I needed to leave. I then logged off shortly afterwards, bothered at the lack of closure but tired and needing to get home.
At one point, on the third and final day, I had to ask Dr. Grand to show the steps of a certain technique after he had skipped doing so, opting instead to go right into a demonstration with a training participant. At least a few others besides myself were left confused with what the actual steps of the technique were. He’d had to skip showing us them because, again, Dr. Grand had taken too much time to answer questions. My and others’ particular query could have been naturally answered if he had stuck to the schedule.
Frankly, I think it’s a group/class facilitators’ and their assistants’ responsibility to set time limits and stick to them. Many people love to engage back and forth on and on, including asking questions and having them answered, and most certainly so with someone they highly admire. I think I take time management as a given in trainings because I guess I’ve been spoiled by instructors and their assistants almost always keeping to a set schedule, anticipating the difficulties of doing so, and effectively communicating with us course/training participants about time management challenges. Such effective communication includes actively involving participants in choosing how to proceed with a needed schedule change, and preferably not down to the very last minute when any choice/s then often end up feeling forced on participants. Time management is a crucial organizational component of a well-run class or training.
This training’s time management was sloppy and neglected, which, for me, was simply unprofessional and disrespectful to us participants. I will be commenting about this issue on the course evaluation form whenever I happen to receive one.
Hot Mess Christian Walker
My impression of the physically adorable looking Christian Walker, one of the GOP U.S. Senate candidate’s (for GA) Herschel Walker’s children, is that he’s pretty mixed up inside. He’s out as gay but hates Queer pride. And he passionately supports Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a man he says he “loves.” Hmm, me thinks I detect some self hatred going on here. Well, after his life being “destroyed” (Christian’s own description) by his absent, narcissistic (my added descriptor) father, along with whatever else he grew up enduring, no wonder why this cute kid comes across as a hot mess. All that expression of beauty and joie de vivre is being so misguided and misdirected, imho.
I hope Christian Walker gets some serious psychotherapy and/or other kinds of life interventions that wake him the hell up. I empathize with and hold compassion for his hurt and rage at his absentee and lying parent. But, similar to his unhinged dad, Christian appears to be in the throes of a narcissistically driven political media frenzy. Sure, he’s young and on a journey to find out who he is. However, what an unmindful, hurtful way he’s doing so out on social media. Others’ lives (such as queer lives, including the true wellbeing of his own) are in the crosshairs of this obnoxiously manufactured culture war Christian has appeared to join the wrong side of. I guess this is yet another example of how apples don’t fall far from the tree. So sad.
RIP, Anne Heche
This is a bit late in coming from me, but RIP, Anne Heche. I would like to watch more of her movies than just the one or so I’ve seen. I knew for over twenty years that the actress struggled with mental illness. As a child, she survived abuse at the hands of her father. And yet, shortly after she died from crashing her car, much online vitriol was directed at Ms. Heche. WTF is wrong with a lot of people?! I hold this troubled, now dead woman in compassion, wishing her soul to find the peace she never quite had in life. We can all afford to be compassionate towards others who have suffered, including Anne Heche.
Adios, Adam Rippon
Adios, Adam Rippon. I had fun following you with your pretty face and pretentiously fun camera closeups. But, the recent reel of yourself prattling on about the difficulties of being rich and deciding not to have children because you don’t want to have to explain to them why they have three nannies while so many children don’t, well, that went beyond the pale of tolerable ignorance and insensitivity for me. One person posted this comment to you: “Rude.” That about summed it up.
Now, I can have more space on my Facebook and Instagram feeds and in my brain to fill with something better or nothing at all, which amounts to the same: better. Ah, the power of choice to unfollow with a single finger tap.
My Response to the SCOTUS Striking Down Roe v. Wade And Further Loosening Gun Ownership Restrictions
I’m for term limits across the board for every federal office holder, including those who are appointed. I’ve also long been for electoral reform, such as getting private money out of politics and neutralizing the Electoral College. We’re not living in a true representative democracy any longer. Some would say we haven’t for a while. I think the Citizens United SCOTUS decision basically killed the vestiges of that. Call it what it now is, an oligarchy. And there is no “united” like our country’s name suggests. (I’m not sure how “united” America ever really was.) There are alliances among states, a patchwork of sorts. Not so great, but rather realistic in such a large country with a steadily increasing plurality of peoples.
The desire by a sizable, active and vocal minority to “unite” the country by authoritarianism (with a uniquely so-called “Christian” brand here) is historically predictable. The oligarchs at the top like this occurring among the comparatively poorer masses, as it enables them to further consolidate their stranglehold on resources and power. Again, we have arrived at an oligarchy. Yesterday’s SCOTUS decisions on abortion access and gun ownership reflect this. One is extremely, nonsensically restrictive while the other will add to even more dangerous chaos (though both outcomes will do this, sadly). The oligarchs are surely smugly smiling over these further diversions away from their societally damaging means of functioning. Let’s all be honest with ourselves and each other about the reality we now live in.
Mini Book Review and Rant (DUNE by Frank Herbert)
I never could get into Frank Herbert’s modern classic sci-fi novel DUNE, though I sure tried. I find his writing to be overly-earnest and lacking a focused elegance that, say, J.R.R. Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy conveys. And Tolkien’s work often expresses a lyrical levity, balanced with all that narrative’s seriousness. Yes, LoTR, like DUNE, is indeed heterosexist but not then also grossly homophobic like Herbert’s novel and its sequels so endemically are. Regardless of this “apples vs. oranges” comparison some may feel I am unfairly making here, I have come to accept that it’s not a reflection on me somehow “missing something” over not being able to fully appreciate DUNE, including all of the movie and TV adaptations. It is simply a cumbersome, tedious writing style and universe with some sensibilities that are not at all simpatico with who I am, but, rather, actually crassly insult who I am.
On Certain Derogatory Words I Don’t Use
Long ago, I personally stopped using the nasty “c” word, a label for a certain part of female anatomy. Going as far back as my adolescence, the context of usage of it in American culture left me especially turned off to the term. I respect women’s personal choice around reclaiming the word if they wish. Author Eve Ensler made an eloquent case for doing just that in her wonderful book THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. But, as a (biologically assigned and mostly identifying as) male ally of women and feminism, I have no use for it. For me, this is parallel to how white people really need not have any use for the “n” word, even though some Black people rightfully choose to say that descriptor amongst themselves.
In parallel to my feelings around the “c” and “n” words, as a gay man I have no interest in reclaiming the words “fag” or “faggot,” though many of my queer brethren and sistren do and say it freely amongst themselves. These terms are especially unpleasant in sound (as is the “c” word) in addition to being associated with my years of hearing them said directly to me with such a meanness, particularly in middle school and high school. I am happy to leave them behind out of my personal lexicon. People who know me respect this and do not use these epithets around me, even in jest, except, on occasion, in quotes to make a point or to quote someone else (again, to make some point, such as how difficult or ignorant the quoted person is). I appreciate their respect of me and my wishes.
I understand how some may judge me as being “overly sensitive” for having such strong boundaries around a small handful of words. My response to this is that I finally reached a shameless acceptance of the reality that I am indeed very sensitive, including around the above-discussed terms. I feel no need or wish to desensitize myself to them. My sensitivity is a part of who I naturally am and has led me to some wonderful insights and experiences in life, not the least being the profession I chose for myself (psychotherapist). I think many people could benefit from developing more sensitivity, which is another way of saying that empathy and compassion are important for everyone to cultivate in themselves and for others.
Brief Praise and Rant About the Recent Oscars
I was glad to see Joaquin Phoenix win an Oscar for JOKER and Renee Zellweger win one for JUDY. Both were well-deserved for the incredible transformation they each made in their leading roles. However, I was disappointed that Tom Hanks did not win Best Supporting Actor for A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. He was powerfully, touchingly transformed as Mr. Rogers. Brad Pitt, who competently played a comparatively far less dynamic character in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, garnered a clearly undeserved win next to Hanks. The Academy has long been so uneven and peculiar in its awarding choices.